mon 20/09/2021

class system

The Nest review – intriguing, off-kilter family drama

The Nest is a peculiar animal, hard to nail down, parts family drama and social satire, but with a creepy sense of suspense rippling under the surface that threatens to bust the plot wide open. The fact that it’s written and directed by...

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Adam Mars-Jones: Batlava Lake review - pride and prejudice in the Kosovo War

For a slim book of some 100 pages, Batlava Lake by Adam Mars-Jones is deceptively meandering. The novella is narrated by Barry Ashton, an engineer attached to the British Army troops stationed with the peacekeeping forces during the Kosovo War....

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theartsdesk Q&A: Amina Cain on her first novel and her eternal fascination with suggestion

Amina Cain is a writer of near-naked spaces and roomy characters. Her debut collection of short fiction, I Go To Some Hollow (Les Figues, 2009), located itself in the potential strangeness of everyday thoughts and experience. Her second, Creature (...

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CLR James: Minty Alley review - love and betrayal in the barrack-yard

CLR James came to London from Trinidad in 1932, clutching the manuscript of his first and only novel. He soon found work, writing about cricket for the Manchester Guardian, as well as a political faith, revolutionary Trotskyism, which would inspire...

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Courttia Newland: A River Called Time review - an ethereality check

It is near impossible to imagine what the world would look like today if slavery and colonialism had never existed, let alone to write a book on the subject. Courttia Newland sets himself this daunting task in his latest novel, A River Called Time....

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Annie Ernaux: A Man's Place review - an intimate portrait, necessarily incomplete

As much as we would like it to, writing can never fully recapture someone who is gone. This we learn all too effectively in A Man’s Place by Annie Ernaux, arguably one of France’s most important living authors. The text, released in an updated...

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Miss Juneteenth review - a ray of Texan sunshine

Beauty queen pageants have long been ripe for parody, from their plastic glamour to the Machiavellian competitiveness. Miss Juneteenth opts for a much more nuanced approach, using the pageant as a focal point for a mother and daughter navigating...

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Naomi Booth: Exit Management review - unwrapping life's unpleasantness

When you try to get rid of something, it comes back to bite you – so says Naomi Booth in her new novel Exit Management. It’s one of those books that you want to read very quickly, its writing slickly modern and its characters compellingly flawed....

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Good Manners review - compellingly eerie

Stylish, eerie and unexpectedly moving by the time of its apocalyptic finish, the strangely titled Good Manners makes for a genuine celluloid surprise. Written and directed by Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra, this genre-defying Brazilian...

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Lynn + Lucy review - a bruising tale of female friendship

British director Fyzal Boulifa makes his feature film debut with a bruising account of female-friendship torn apart by personal tragedies and gossipmongers, on a council estate in Harlow. At under an hour and a half, Boulifa shows a gift for...

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Romantic Comedy review - a not-so-guilty pleasure

Only those who really love you can deliver the hard truths, and for filmmaker Elizabeth Sankey, that one love is romantic comedies. Better known as one half of band Summer Camp, Sankey is a self-confessed romcom expert, having watched nearly every...

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Helen McCarthy: Double Lives - A History of Working Motherhood review – doing it for themselves

Want to enact mass social change? Make it about children. About their health, their prosperity, their future. Make it about men; their security, their wellbeing. Make it about society. What benefits are there for the economy, the home? Just for God’...

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